Monday, June 24, 2013

On Squam, part 2

Dear friends, I hope you had lovely weekends. What I expected to be a quiet, restful summer has turned into quite the frenzy, which comes along with unexpectedly becoming a studio manager for a new artist community. So before I forget what peace and quiet feels like, let me tell you about the classes I took at Squam.


I took two classes, both about knitting. It let me pretend that Squam was at least in part about "expanding my work skills" rather than just pure indulgence.


One of my classes was on the basics of Shetland lace, taught by the absolutely adorable Gudrun Johnston. She is amazingly sweet, and I seriously have the biggest crush on her.


I admit I don't know if I am sold on garter stitch lace patterns, but I learned a lot about traditional Shetland shawl construction and it gave me some new ideas about how to develop patterns. I really enjoyed this class, and find myself lamenting the lack of more hours in the day because there is so much I want to experiment with.


My other class was a shawl design class with Stephen West. While I am pretty familiar with shawl design using standard shapes, I was hoping to learn a bit about how to approach more unconventional design. By the way, Stephen is almost a foot and a half taller than me. He was crouching for this photo.


For the first half of the class, he went through how to set up a basic, top-down triangular shawl, which I was already very familiar with. But, to my delight, he asked us what we wanted to do for the second half of the class, so I asked him to talk about unconventional shapes.


He brought out a suitcase packed with several of his own designs, and went over some of the design concepts. We talked about ways to distort some of the more basic shapes, and the idea of knitting in multiple directions to achieve different shapes. I definitely came out of it with a new appreciation for being fearless in design and breaking the rules after understanding them.

And that was Squam, in a very tiny nutshell. I procrastinated on writing this final post because it meant accepting that it really is over and I have to wait a full year before going again.

Have you ever gone to Squam, or any other creative retreats?

1 comment:

  1. Must've been wonderful to learn from such talented designers. I've only been to a few local small-ish retreats. Hoping to broaden my horizons someday.